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Author Topic: Animal welfare law - Positive talks are held in Ankara  (Read 3654 times)

Offline KAPSA Kalkan

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Perihan Agnelli, founder of the Animal Shelter in Fethiye, and in a large part responsible for the current animal rights law in Turkey Kanun 5199, had a very positive meeting with the National Forestry Commissioner last week in Ankara regarding the proposed changes to the animal welfare law. Here are some extracts from the report written by Perihan about the meeting.
‘The meeting took place in the conference room of the Forest Ministry, with Mr Ahmet Ozyanik, the General Director of the Forest Ministry, Mr. Nurettin Tas, the General Director of National Parks Ministry, Mr. Ozcan Yaman,Deputy Director of the Forestry Ministry, Mr. Gokhan Beyhan, Deputy Director, Vets Mr. Mehmet Ali Yasar and Mrs. Hayriye Eren.

The General Director, Mr. Ozyanik said the intentions of what they proposed had been totally misunderstood by people.

He said their plan is to still to undertake neutering and returning of street dogs, as the Animal Protection Law requires, but their amendments to this is directed towards certain dogs that cannot be returned to the streets and he went on to suggest that naturally dangerous types of dogs, dogs which have become aggressive through maltreatment, unhealthy dogs, etc. are the dogs they have in mind that should never be returned to the community.

In his opinion these category of dogs should be re-settled in special places which would be provided by the Forest Ministry, to live in comfort till the end of their days, he said.

With regard to those dogs that could be returned to the street, he outlined an interesting suggestion that people in the community should be encouraged to adopt them in a loose way by taking care of them wherever possible if the dogs are in the neighbourhood. People like shop-keepers, restaurant owners, where dogs will generally go to seek food, and members of the public if they are so inclined. He said this will be a community undertaking to encourage more caring feelings towards stray dogs.

Having outlined their plan, I told Mr. Ozyanik that it was very honourable of him to care for animals in this way but I thought it would be impracticable and very difficult to maintain in the long term.

I then gave my suggestions to an alternative way to reduce the stray dog population on the streets, point by point, which he was in agreement with and instructed the officials to go ahead with implementing my proposals.

These points included the stopping of the illegal importation of puppies from countries outside Turkey, such as Romania which is responsible for a lot of illegal dog importation into Turkey.

To stop the illegal breeders in Turkey from operating, and to control licensed breeders.

To stop pet-shops from selling animals such as dogs and cats.

To encourage the voluntary neutering of privately-owned dogs, or by enforcement where necessary.

I insisted that if they can’t incorporate these points into the Law then they will never control the increasing dog population. They agreed!

Other points included the role of the Veterinary service. I spoke of the importance of key-hole surgery for speeding up the recovery process after the neutering of those dogs where they need to be returned to the street.

Not every vet is proficient in this technique and Mr. Ozyanik said he was fascinated by this idea. He said he would like to start a training program for those Vets that will be operating animals in the Municipality shelters, to begin in December this year and continue through the winter months. He asked me if I could help to start this training program by sending trained vets to the training centres, once located, and to this end I would like to ask if anyone could provide me with the names of any vet trained in key-hole surgery who would be willing to help with this training program.

Further responsibilities of the Veterinary Service was discussed, in particular the setting up of a national register of dog owners. A data-base of all dog owners that are known by local vets should be collated in their communities and compiled into a shared-information service available to interested government departments such as the Agriculture and Forestry Ministries and most importantly the local municipalities who should be aware of the names of private dog owners.

The vets should compulsorily micro-chip every dog that comes to their practice for treatment. The status of any dog that is found roaming the street and is caught and taken to a local shelter would be easily identified by this method and unnecessary operations avoided. I told them that in Fethiye we are collecting only free-roaming dogs on the streets now that there are no longer any stray dogs on the streets but we don’t know if the private dogs are neutered or not.

The vets should also try to influence and encourage private dog owners to have their pets neutered. At present there is no lawful requirement for them to do so. Their free-roaming pet is presently responsible for many unwanted litters, which are then generally abandoned or brought to shelters.’

The entire report can be found at the following link http://www.calis-beach.co.uk/forum/animal_aid_charity/new_animal_legislation_proposals_48905.new.html#new

Perihan has told us that she is arranging (with the consent and help of the Forest Ministry) for as many municipality vets to be trained in the technique of keyhole neutering/spaying  as possible,  in the shortest time possible. One of the expenses of neutering in this way is the quality of the suture material required. Perihan has asked everyone involved to spread the world and ask our supporters and animal lovers to visit their local clinics, hospitals and veterinary services to ask for 0,3 suture material that can be sent or better still, brought out here when someone is coming. It may be out of date that doesn’t matter. She wants to get this training off the ground and Turkey wide ASAP.

All help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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